Mobarik A. Virk
November 10, 2014
Islamabad : The Pakistan Interfaith League (PIL) has called for holding speedy trial of the culprits behind the horrible tragedy in Kot Radha Kishan where a Christian couple were brutalised and then burnt alive in a brick kiln oven on the baseless blasphemy charges.
Talking to ‘The News’ on his return from Kot Radha Kishan, the Chairman of the PIL, Sajid Ishaq, said that it was a gruesome crime that has very badly affected the whole community.
“The horrifying incident has resulted in creating a barrier of fear and hatred between the victims, the minority Christian community and the majority Muslims despite the fact that they have been living together since generations in the same area and know each and every member of the two communities,” the PIL chairman said.
“And yet this brutality has occurred. What I have learnt from the visit to the families and other people around, it is very clear that it was not the case of blasphemy but the motives behind brutalising and killing the couple by throwing them in the brick kiln oven were based on lust, power, money and control,” Sajid Ishaq said.
He also pointed out that it was not the double murder case of Shehzad Masih and his wife, Mst Shama but a triple murder because Mst Shama was four-month pregnant and carrying a baby in her womb.
Sajid Ishaq, who also is the Central President of the Minority Wing of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), travelled from Islamabad to visit the bereaved family and to find the facts. After meeting with two brothers of deceased Shehzad Masih in the village amidst a pal of gloom and apprehensions of a possible attack from the Muslim majority, Sajid Ishaq said that the hate propaganda against the Christians was still continuing and now pressure tactics were being used employed to press families of the victims not to pursue the case.
He also pointed out that the instigation against the Christian couple had started in early morning and it must have taken three or four hours for the people from the adjacent villages to come over and attack and kill them.
“The announcements about the alleged blasphemy were made through the loudspeakers and it was very well in the knowledge of the local police. Yet the police didn’t take effective preventive measures and this slackness on part of the police led to killing of the poor Christian couple. Those assigned the task to hold inquiry into the incident need to take this fact into account as well,” the PIL chairman pointed out.
“This is no secret that such cases have occurred in the past and not a single culprit has been punished for these crimes. This is one big reason that such people feel encouraged because they believe that they can easily get away with these heinous crimes committed in the name of religion. The government has to show its resolve in implementing the law. Lynching can never be justified. Had the government handed out conviction to those found guilty in such cases in the past we would not have seen this day,” Sajid Ishaq said.
He said that the compensation being offered by the Punjab Government to the bereaved families may bring some material comfort to their lives but will not take away the fear out of the hearts and minds of the whole Christian community, many of whom have already started to abandon their homes.
“The government has to make an example out of this latest in a series of such incidents and hand out exemplary punishment to those behind it. This will appease the perturbed minds of Christians especially and other minority communities in general that their lives and properties are safe in Pakistan,” Sajid Ishaq said.(the news) – Kot Radha Kishan, Mobarik A. Virk, Articles